What is Barre?
Barre classes combine movements from ballet, yoga, Pilates and other movement styles to focus on isometric strength training. Often using a ballet barre for balance, as well as mats, small balls, bands or weights, barre exercises typically feature higher numbers of repetitions and relatively small ranges-of-motion.
Barre exercises are typically very low or no impact, making them an excellent option for almost any fitness level, including pregnant women. The ballet and Pilates-inspired movements can also help improve posture and alignment, increase mobility and flexibility, strengthen muscles, and reduce stress.
The focused work of barre classes use small precise movements or "pulses" to isometrically contract the body's muscles to help strengthen muscles without strain to tendons or ligaments. Like Pilates and yoga, barre exercises often target multiple muscle groups at once to emphasize core strength and stability.
The tiny movements common in barre classes can help improve the mind-body connection, something Callan Pinkney, the founder of Callanetics®, called "meditation in motion." Because barre requires a great deal of focus to maintain movement precision, barre exercises can help strengthen the body's neuromuscular connections.
While most barre classes are not designed specifically for cardiovascular exercise, most barre students find that barre's high-rep low-weight exercises are an ideal activity for a balanced fitness regimen.
Barre classes can be an excellent choice for those with arthritis, but good form is essential to prevent added stress on the joints - ask your instructor for modifications if you need to adapt moves that aren't comfortable for your joints. And while barre classes may be based on ballet movements, NO DANCE EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED. As long as you can stand and hold on to the barre, you should be able to participate in Via Pilates' barre classes.
As with most classes at Via Pilates, we recommend students wear comfortable workout clothing that allows for movement in all planes of movement. It is important to be comfortable and have ample freedom of movement. If you prefer to wear looser-fitting shorts/pants, please wear compression tights or leggings underneath as you may be standing, sitting and lying down in class. Grip socks are required for all barre classes.